One of two graduate transfers that joined the St. John's program this summer, Ron Mvouika is expected to mold into a key piece in a versatile backcourt.
The 6'6" forward wants to finish his college career with an opportunity to participate in the postseason, but the first order of business will be to help the young talented freshman develop a poise playing at the next level.
How He Got Here
One of Mvouika's greatest assets is the fact that he has played at almost every level of basketball that a player could think of. The 6'6" forward grew up in Paris, France where he developed his international game enough to average 25 points, five rebounds and six assists at the Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain.
Mvouika arrived in the United States at age 17, played at the prep level for Rob Fulford and Huntington Prep and then committed to Sheridan Junior College in Wyoming. After averaging 19.3 points and 8.2 rebounds and earning First Team NJCAA honors in his first year, the Sheridan College talent was heavily recruited by teams throughout the Missouri Valley Conference.
He received his first college letter from Wichita State but felt most comfortable at Missouri State as he wanted to be apart of a rebuilding process. In 2013-14, Mvouika appeared in 31 games (nine starts), finished fourth on the team in scoring, fourth in rebounding and second in assists while also shooting the ball well from downtown.
In his senior season, Mvouika suffered an injury that knocked him out for the entire season and forced him to transfer outside of the conference.
"Oh that's easy," Mvouika said when asked why he chose St. John's at the team's Media Day. "You have Coach Mullin, Madison Square Garden and the city of New York. The school is filled with tradition and history. I mean just look at the jerseys up there like it was just easy."
What He Brings To The Table
Mvouika operates at his best when he finds set shots on the perimeter, which will provide critical spacing for an NBA-style motion offense. This is also a perfect counter to point guards Marcus LoVett and Federico Mussini because Mvouika doesn't necessarily need to have the ball in his hands to score.
But that doesn't mean he can't handle the basketball, set up his teammates and create his own shot. Mvouika has plenty of versatility in his game, which is in addition to his main strength: knocking down outside shots.
The guard/forward won't blow by defenders with speed and he doesn't have the quickest feet defensively, but he has good size and his toughness, fire and passion is infectious.
And his leadership and communication skills on the court certainly deserve an A+.
"I try to do whatever it takes to win a basketball game," Mvouika said. "I don't care about my stats and I don't like to put myself in one category, as a shooter or driver. I just do whatever it takes to win."
Where He Fits In
Similar to Durand Johnson, Mvouika is versatile and can play both the two and three position. This will give the Red Storm flexibility with their lineups depending on the match-ups and the personnel of the opposing team. While Marcus LoVett and Federico Mussini could start at the two guard positions due to their speed and playmaking abilities, Mvouika could also start over Mussini at the shooting guard position with Johnson playing at small forward.
Again, the Paris native gives Chris Mullin options so there will be times when he also takes the ball up the court to set the Johnnies up into their offense.